"Mind Eraser," the last song on Growing's new album Pumps, consists primarily of the words "I love drugs" repeating over a bass drum loop and a staccato synth sample. Which bodes well – in the past, Growing made huge fields of treated guitar drones. It was warm and comforting, a cure for the spastic guitar wrangling of the early '00s. But what they're doing now is a far cry from their old mission of drone as sound therapy. Maybe it owes something to the New York train system – they moved from the West Coast to the East Coast a few years ago, but this is techno-subway acid-trip music, the sound of appliances turning on and off in a Maximum Overdrive future rendered in impeccable miniature. Like later Black Dice or Excepter, it has the feeling of menace ground up and served in a pharma-cocktail of horse tranquilizers and MDMA. Drone is a duration-specific sort of experience, all about points in time, and the sampler-heavy electronic music Growing makes is all about marking points in time. Each new section comes in like a guest entering a party in Robert Altman's hypothetical sequel to Trainspotting, but it's all part of a stream of sound that nods to the synthesized efflorescences of Tangerine Dream. They've always been loud, and sampler-based music sounds best when it is blowing speakers.
Check out this week's featured ad for Entertainment